Is it pretty standard to have "bathroom" issues post surgery?

on 7/30/20 3:43 pm

Is it a common occurrence to have problems having a bowel movement after surgery? Is it something that one "just gets used to"? After surgery did you have to take laxatives? For how long? Thanks for anyone for offering insight!

Melody P.
on 7/30/20 5:26 pm - TX

One word for me....miralax.

i have to take it every day. I know a lot of us do have to take something.

it is normal to have issues. I get the generic brand at sams club and it's working great for me.

39 F and 6 foot 1 inches

VSG - 3-14-18 - - - Revision to RNY - 5-29-19

Feel your feels...choose your choice.

Janet P.
on 7/31/20 5:03 am
On July 30, 2020 at 10:43 PM Pacific Time, SuMari wrote:

Is it a common occurrence to have problems having a bowel movement after surgery? Is it something that one "just gets used to"? After surgery did you have to take laxatives? For how long? Thanks for anyone for offering insight!

When was your surgery? Are you still taking pain medication? There are things that cause constipation.Calcium can do that. Lack of fat can do that. Yes, some people experience constipation following surgery and some don't.

I had the DS so I have only experienced constipation because of other factors - for me it's pain meds or lack of fat and/or not enough water. Everyone is different and every surgery is different.

I also take fiber every day and have for 16 years.

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

on 7/31/20 10:08 am

I haven't had surgery yet, just trying to prepare myself for what is "potentially" going to happen. I am hoping my pain tolerance holds up as I rarely take pain meds. I am leaning toward the Bypass procedure but it's still in the air until I have my last appointment which is about 2 months from now.

Thank you for the feedback!

on 7/31/20 6:09 am, edited 7/30/20 11:09 pm
VSG on 06/11/18

You're probably sick of this word by now, but fluids!

Stool softeners and laxatives won't work if you're not drinking enough fluids.

I had problems with constipation long before surgery, and it got a lot worse right after surgery, but went back to normal (i.e. pre-surgery levels of constipation) in a few weeks.

For me personally, I rely mostly on drinking plenty of water or other fluids. Stool softeners don't help me much, but fibre does help.

Right after surgery, you probably can't eat many fibre-rich foods. Are you allowed oatmeal? That helps me a lot. Make it a little thinner than you would normally, so it's easier to digest.

on 7/31/20 10:21 am, edited 7/31/20 3:36 am

I won't be allowed to have oatmeal after surgery (according to my paperwork from my surgeon's office) I went to one of my nutrition education classes (online) and the medications for after surgery included a suggestion for stool softeners like dolcolax. When I looked it up, it just created some additional questions so I figured I'd ask!

And I have already started to incorporate a schedule to drink as often as possible. I have one of those Gallon sized "motivation" bottles I keep with me... I have done fairly well, aside from floating away every day!

on 7/31/20 6:28 am
RNY on 06/03/15

chronic constipation is pretty common after VSG or RNY. High protein diet, iron, and calcium supplements can all cause that (although those are required for most of us) - but as someone above said, lack of fluids and pain pills can also aggravate it.

a lot of us take a capful of Miralax every day. I've been doing ever since surgery. I still get backed up maybe one or twice a month, though - and when that happens, a night or two of Milk of Magnesia will usually do the trick.

other things people use to keep on top of it - magnesium tablets, stool softeners - I've heard of people eating a few prunes every day - or using Smooth Move Tea (although the latter shouldn't be used every day, from what I understand..). You'll just have to experiment to see what things - or combo of things - work for you.

on 7/31/20 10:34 am, edited 7/31/20 3:35 am

If I have the Bypass, don't think I will be able to eat prunes? Granted, I have never eaten a prune before, but I will keep that in mind when I am closer to goal. The program I am on is liquids, soft mushy foods and then Meat/Cheese/Eggs until I am at least 75% of my excess weight lost so I am not sure how long that will be until I can consume a prune.

on 7/31/20 10:58 am
RNY on 06/03/15

I had bypass - I can eat prunes. Although if you're a new post-op, they'll probably have you hold off on fruit with seeds (which prunes do...). I don't eat prunes for constipation, though (although a few people do). Most of us go with the capful of Miralax every day.

on 8/3/20 10:34 am

I see. I will ask my surgeon or nutritionist where prunes fall in the "when can I consume" list of questions